10 Paw-sitive New Year Resolutions…for pets!
A new year is a fresh start – and though your pet really doesn’t care what year we’re in (there’s a lesson in that for us somewhere!), January can be a great opportunity to improve your routines as an owner.
So without further ado, here are 10 easy habits you can adopt to improve the quality of life of your pet in 2018!
1) Exercise both brain and body
This goes for you AND your pet. A bit of extra movement, stimulation and fresh air every day will improve both of your cardio systems, help to regulate mood and improve sleep patterns. Set your alarm a little earlier, rug up (including your pet) for a morning walk and interactive play – it’s a great way to start the day!
2) Visit the vet – even if everything is fine
Just because your pet can’t talk doesn’t mean they don’t have little health niggles that could do with improvement. Regular check-ups are important in monitoring your pet’s weight, dental health and any other issues that might be easy to miss.
3) Check in on your pet’s diet
Ask your vet if your pet could be eating better (shouldn’t we all!). Your vet may have some suggestions about what you feed your pet, and how much – whether this relates to weight or specific health concerns, or is based on your pet’s age range. Here are some creative ways for you to feed your pet to make it more rewarding and fun for them.
4) Practice dental hygiene
There are ways to maintain your pet’s pearly whites, including dental chews and/or pet-sized toothbrushes with pet toothpaste, which will avoid a world of painful problems later. Your vet can also arrange a professional clean to make those chompers sparkle.
5) Get into the groom
Make a luxurious brush a part of your pet’s day – perhaps right before bed to wind down. Your pet will love it and it will make things much more comfortable for them in the winter months. Plus, brushing will keep the fluff on the brush now and off the floor later.
6) Bedroom makeover
Throw out any dirty old pet bedding, or give everything a wash in gentle detergent. This is a good way to keep the fleas at bay when the weather eventually warms up and will help avoid that dirty pet smell.
7) Pamper time
Give your dog a warm bath (and a fur trim for the long-haired breeds!) to slough away any dead skin and free them of that excess winter fluff. Ask your vet or a groomer to show you how to clip the tips of their claws and your pet will be as fresh as a daisy.
8) Commit to no human food
We really want to prevent pet obesity and the endless list of health issues that can result. A massive contributor is the feeding of leftovers to pets. The odd bean, carrot nub or scrambled egg isn’t the issue – we’re talking about the feeding of scraps from the dinner table, which are usually high in salt, sugar and preservatives. So commit to no more scraps for your cat or dog!
9) Update your pet’s info
Ahhh life admin…even your pet has to deal with it! Make sure their microchip info is all up to date if you have moved house (and absolutely make sure they are microchipped to begin with). Add worming and vaccinations to this list and your pet will be on top of their paperwork.
10) Safeguard your pet against nasties
Fleas are bad, and can make life super uncomfortable. Unfortunately, artificial heating can still allow fleas to breed in the cold weather when they would normally be dormant. Check your pet's skin and fur regularly, and chat with your vet about ways to prevent fleas all year round.